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Catwalk struts in money for children

KINGSTON — North Kitsap residents were moving to the rhythm and “vogueing” like Madonna Sunday afternoon at the second annual Kitsap Style Fashion Show as models glided down the catwalk to raise money for the Kitsap Foster Care Association’s Dream Project.

Featuring styles inspired mainly by 1980s fashion trends, models made up of local residents and business owners pouted and sashayed for about 60 residents while surrounded by paper umbrellas, columns and flowers. KFCA president-elect and foster parent Debra Converse said it was an amazing event that will help many children.

“I felt like the show went great,” she said. “It really benefits a lot of kids, kids that have dreams that will be fulfilled. This allows them to have dreams and helps create memories.”

The Dream Project allows foster parents and social workers to request up to $75 for a foster child who may have something they’d like to participate in, like summer camp or the prom, but can’t afford. It can also be used to buy a special toy or provide pictures for them to look back on later in life, Converse said. This can help children through tough times or keep a sense of who they are as they move from home to home before being adopted or returned to their parents.

“When I heard about this event and was asked to emcee, I jumped at the chance because I know as a teacher at Gordon Elementary how important children are,” said kindergarten teacher Patrick Pearson.

The event was the brainchild of Lucky Star Consignment Store owner Stacy Patrick, foster parent Sally Heacock and Kingston resident Susan Rodgers. The trio was seeking an organization that could benefit from such an event and thought the Dream Project sounded like the perfect charity to support. Many of Sunday’s fashion-goers agreed.

“It was very nice,” said Indianola resident Teri Gustafson. “I think most of what I saw I’ve seen in recent magazines.”

The fashion show also featured a silent auction, which had items from different local vendors and artists. All together, the event brought in about $1,500 to help the program. Converse was excited about the financial help, but also thrilled by how many people learned more about the project.

“We provide activities throughout the year for kids,” she said during a short presentation of the Dream Project before the show. “Our mission statement is to ‘promote by attitude and action, constructive social action to bring about changes in child welfare systems and in legislation pertaining to all children and families,’ and that’s what we’re doing here today.”

“It was great, very enjoyable,” said Kingston resident Lena Lavelle. “We heard about it from working at the Kingston gym, and from all the posters up all over town. We thought we’d come and see what it was all about.”

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